~OLGA CHERNYSHEVA SCREENING/MoMA !!
‘MARCH’. 2005, RUSSIA. DIRECTED BY OLGA CHERNYSHEVA/IMAGE COURTESY: MoMA
AN EVENING WITH OLGA CHERNYSHEVA – MODERN MONDAYS – FILM SCREENINGS
MONDAY – OCT 20, 2008 – 7 PM
MoMA – THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART – 11 WEST 53rd ST – BTWN 5th & 6th AVENUES
THEATER 2 – THE ROY & NIUTA TITUS THEATER 2
from the MoMA FILM CALENDAR:
“Moscow-based Russian artist OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, a graduate of the Moscow Academy and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, captures quotidian life in contemporary, post-Communist Russia using video, photography, drawing, and painting. For this presentation, Chernysheva discusses her artistic practice in the context of Russia today, and shows several of her video works.
In ‘The Train’ (2003), the director’s camera traverses the cars of an intercity Moscow train; ‘Anonymous’ (2004) portrays a middle-aged woman and a drunken man each having a private moment in a public park; and ‘March’ (2005) captures the dynamics between young male cadets, scantily clad teenage cheerleaders, and band members performing before a corporate event.
The program also includes her newest video, ‘Untitled. After Sengai’ (2008).
Special thanks to FOXY PRODUCTION, New York.”
and, YES !! OLGA CHERNYSHEVA – will be in attendance !!
UP-DATE: SAT NOV 1, 2008: PIX – FROM THE MoMA / OLGA CHERNYSHEVA – SCREENING !!
from left: JOHN THOMSON, Co-Director FOXY PRODUCTION, OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, and, MICHELLE KUO,
Senior Editor at ARTFORUM.
OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, and the evening’s curator, SALLY BERGER, Assistant Curator, Department of Film,
Museum of Modern Art. The ROY and NIUTA TITUS THEATER LOBBY, MoMA.
The ROY and NIUTA THEATER always has very interesting archival film & theater posters on display.
these were particularly of interest, esp. in regard to the work of contemporary artists, such as KARA WALKER and other, modern day paper cutters & silhouette artists – who walk in the steps of a proud American folk art tradition – brought here – by the earliest European settlers.
‘THE BOASTFUL BRAGGART’ – c. 1924-28. TEMPERA ON POSTER BOARD, THE MADALENA FAMILY.
“this poster publicizes a stage presentation created at the Eastman Theatre to accompany a film.”
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
‘BEAU BRUMMEL 1924’, USA, 1924. WARNER BROS. PICTURES, directed by HARRY BEAUMONT.
EXHIBITED THE WEEK OF MAY 18, 1924, TEMPERA ON BOARD POSTER. JUDITH & STEVEN KATTEN
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
. . . but, back to this evening’s star !! Russian-based FILMMAKER OLGA CHERNYSHEVA !!
In this day and age of soundbites – it is sometimes hard to recall – that words actually do have meaning,
and, reputations actually are built upon real accomplishment !!
Being focused primarily on NYC artists – when we encounter an international artist – we’re never really sure what we are headed in for – but MS. CHERNYSHEVA definitely deserves her international acclaim. Only a few minutes into the screening, it was not hard to see why. She combines the eye of a documentary cinematographer with the eye of an acutely inspired artist. Her brief narratives, while based in the absolute, unmanipulated reality going on about her – are like unfolding vignettes – peeling back to the individual specific – the modern post-Soviet urban landscape.
They are both lyrical and descriptive – richly visual and, often funny, or at least very curious. Her hand held camera’s subjects are captured, and crystallized from ‘found’ situations – encountered at random, stumbles upon – as she traverses her homeland city, seemingly, always in thought – about the world she lives in, and the way that her society – is playing out in contemporary terms.
. . . it was a definite treat to have MS. CHERNYSHEVA there in person. Though she herself expressed, that she felt her somewhat struggled-for English, was an impediment – it most certainly was not !! Her few words before each clip – illuminated about her world, her technique, her vision, her motivation – in ways that clearly augmented the sense that this was a very sensitive artist/ filmmaker – who saw her world, contemporary Russia – through very particular radar. Her artistry is very particular and yet very straightforward. Her clips speak for themselves, as she focuses in, and moves out away from her subjects.
She is a kind of artist/literary social scientist, philosopher/humanitarian – in the grand tradition and long history of introspective Russian cinematographers & writers – going way back. She spoke of the breakdown of the social order, and change in the new post Soviet era – where things seem to be hesitant and insecure, people a little lost. She spoke of searching for and finding the ‘individual’, the ‘particle’ of the whole society.
. . . and lastly, if you’ve seen her videos in small wall presentations, without sound – in art gallery situations – well – basically – you haven’t really, seen them at all. These are above all else films – made by a visual artist, and scale is key in her mind as she shoots. And to not experience her short films’ sound tracks – is to miss the point – entirely. The zen-like delicate music cannot be separated from the editing – they are one and the same. Haunting and beautiful. Revealing. As for art – she said: “. . . art can enhance human beings. art is pro-people. art enhances the meaning of human beings.” She went on to say: “Filming individuals is like … the ‘resonance’ principle – like doing something .. in the ocean” – is an inseparable part of an on-going narrative.
An interesting point that she shared with her MoMA audience – was how she never started off as a filmmaker, or even a photographer. She began, and pursued higher degree study – as a painter. I believe she said she began picking up a camera more often – when her daughter was born in 1986. At any rate, her first ‘real’ art ‘video’ – took shape in a moment of deeply felt inspiration & observation – in 1998, while her (now) 12 yr. old daughter was playing the piano – with “youthful intensity” in the background – she looked out upon a snowy street from her window, and addressed her camera to the shard of a world – below her. This first film, with her daughter’s piano as sound track – was presented as part of the MoMA screening.
video frame – OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, ‘Marmot’, Nov 7, 1999.
video frame – OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, ‘The Train’ with Mozart soundtrack.
a black and white hand held camera journey through a typical Russian city commuter train, including the off-limits baggage areas, etc. done.. “all the while – thinking about how it is told that MOZART wrote a lot of his music while traveling on trains”.
video frame – OLGA CHERNYSHEVA , ‘Anonymous Episode # 2’.
The man did not know he was being filmed – the camera actually pulls back at the end of the clip, to show the considerable distance she was filming him from. He was drunk and trying to open a beer bottle.
She said how she liked the way the bushes enveloped him. She also went on to say how this vignette expresses for her – her observation and feeling that, “the post Soviet system is breaking down, and each person is searching for their own individual direction” … , and some, in fact many – are invariably lost . . .
The sound track on this clip, as well as on all the others – is memorable – zen-like, integrated & spatial.
video frame – OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, inside a Russian museum.
catching contemporary gallery-goers amid the reflections of the glass framed – institutional state,
Russian master works, the glory of a bye-gone era.
video frame – OLGA CHERNYSHEVA.
MS. CHERNYSHEVA also said of her work, that she was . . .”a poet looking for treasures, not a critic looking for truth.”
It was interesting aside of the evening, because the films are based on actual observation – that one felt one was traveling through the contemporary Russian landscape – as well as the mindset.
video frame – OLGA CHERNYSHEVA – “March’, 2005
MS. CHERNYSHEVA told how she became fascinated by the interaction of the young boy cadets and the scantily clad, slightly older cheerleaders, at a parade – she just happened upon, one day, her video camera at hand.
video frame – MS CHERNYSHEVA”S most recent film, and in a departure, a street performance she set up – inspired by the square, circle and triangle of the late Edo period (1750s) Japanese Zen master philosopher monk artist,
Selling products in the street in Moscow is illegal, the girl is selling a small toy – etch-a-sketch – on which she repeatedly demonstrates it’s use – with triangles, circles and squares – and MS. CHERNYSHEVA – related how the girl, her real-world friend, was extremely nervous, because she had just found an apartment !! and, was worried, if caught,
she would lose it !!
this is the clip that looped in the recent FOXY PRODUCTION exhibit of OLGA CHERNYSHEVA’S work
see: OLGA CHERNYSHEVA/SEPT 9-OCT 10, 2008/FOXY PRODUCTION
at the small after party in the MoMA cafe/bar – artist ROB McKENZIE of AUSTRALIA, and FOXY PRODUCTION artist, ESTER PARTAGAS, originally from Barcelona, SPAIN – now living and working in Brooklyn.
see: FOXY PRODUCTION/artists
RON McKENZIE shows at UPLANDS GALLERY, in AUSTRALIA, see: his work, its very graphic & interesting, of course !!
also, check out: UPLANDS GALLERY, 249-251 CHAPEL STREET, Prahan, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
another FOXY PRODUCTION artist, VIOLET HOPKINS. Violet has a show coming up in the spring (2009).
see: FOXY PRODUCTION/artists
and last, but not least, and definitely in the news !! STEFAN RAK of ALPHA BETA – BROOKYN’s
newest, graffiti specialist art supply store, and of the moment – art & performance space !!
MR RAK currently produces/programs/promotes .. “a new music experimental” series at ALPHA BETA.
“this experimental music series at ALPHA BETA . . . “is presented by the Body without Organs and is entitled: No New Body Music. This series is specifically dedicated to presenting and promoting new music of an exceptionally creative and innovative character, founded to showcase the new avant-garde, the truly original, progressive and refreshing.
Our first program took place last July 20th, 2008, and this past Sunday , Oct 19, 2008, we presented the sixth night of the series. (the series always runs on Sunday nights.)
I also program other events at ALPHA BETA, including Deviled Leggs 2 (an experimental electronic music/live performance/multi-sensory art dance party), in addition to more international/world music programming.
Last month we hosted a Fado performance (traditional Portuguese music); following our success with this event, we are presenting another night of Fado music, this time a more encompassing program of greater scope, featuring performances of Fado, Portuguese, Portuguese-Brazilian and Brazilian music.
that will happen this up-coming – SUNDAY – NOV 9th, 2008 at 8 PM.” !!!
see: thebodywithoutorganslive on myspace !!
ALPHA BETA doesn’t have a website – but we ran across this rather ‘charming’ little anti-graffiti rant
against ALPHA BETA – by New York City councilman, PETER VALLONE, JR.
see: ARTINFO/ALPHA BETA/JULY 3, 2008
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH